Conservative treatment of CMC-1 osteoarthritis

A Damen*, KM Withag, B van der Lei, WFA den Dunnen, PH Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Initially, osteoarthritis of the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb (CMC-1) should be conservatively treated. However, literature concerning this topic is absent. Therefore, 39 patients (71 hands) with conservatively treated osteoarthritis of the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb were reviewed. The minimum follow-up period was I year; the average follow-up period was 8.8 years. Thirty-two women had bilateral CMC-I osteoarthritis; the remaining seven patients had unilateral CMC-1 osteoarthritis. Although suggested by others, long-term pain relief was not observed in this study. Moreover, patient satisfaction, thumb strength, and mobility were not influenced by the duration of the CMC-1 osteoarthritis. In conservatively treated patients, worse results are achieved than in operated patients, especially concerning their subjective experiences. The authors therefore advise surgery, especially in the case of pain which hampers the activities of daily life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2-Feb-2001


  • CMC-1
  • osteoarthritis
  • conservative treatment

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